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Day 2 - What have you achieved today?

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Feb 2 12 3:15 PM

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I was able to write 500 words today. My big achievement for the day is the realization that there are several items I want to include in this book in which I do not hold the rights. I need to find out how to ask "pretty please" to the archives that hold these items and see if I can get approval to include them.

What were you able to accomplish today?

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#1 [url]

Feb 2 12 3:52 PM

So far I've managed to write 212 words. Not what I expected. My first sentence is saved and will appear later. While what I wrote yesterday sounded good, it was not accurate and was leading the story in the wrong direction. When looking through my documents, I realized that I was missing the copy of one important news clipping from 1927 that is crucial. I went through all my emails (fortunately I have a separate email address for genealogy and save all the important ones) and found & printed the one I needed.

I know we're not supposed to be editing already...but without correct analysis the story line may sound good, but it's trash. So, perhaps now I can get back on track.

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#2 [url]

Feb 2 12 5:34 PM

Today I wrote quite a bit again.  I have decided NOT to go back and read what I'm writing.  I don't want to be too critical at this point.  My goal is to get the story down on paper - write from the heart.  So far, so good!

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#3 [url]

Feb 2 12 5:43 PM

318 words today! I'm finding it simpler to keep writing knowing I can go back and elaborate on certain topics later. It's definitely helping me to move along and not get hung up on every detail. I could very easily obsess over those details and then find myself sucked into hours of research trying to figure it all out. Whoops, I'd be back to researching instead of writing!

So far so good. It is good to push myself to write, and trust me, I need nudging!

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#5 [url]

Feb 2 12 6:30 PM

314 words today; 320 words yesterday. Not HUGE chunks of writing, of course, but my admittedly low goal was 250 words per day, so I'm happy. I've never been one to just plunge in (what was it Dorothy Parker said about changing 5 out of every 6 words?), so it's a real challenge for me to write WITHOUT editing and move on to the next bit. But that's what I intend to keep doing. Keep your fingers crossed!

Congrats to everyone who's posted about their experiences. I'm finding inspiration in the descriptions of various techniques.

Joseph Ditta Author of THEN & NOW: GRAVESEND, BROOKLYN (Arcadia Publishing, 2009)

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#6 [url]

Feb 2 12 7:43 PM

I find that I'm only writing about 200 words a day-at least on the story of my Hopkins family that I planned to work on.  When I looked at what I had already done in the past, I realized I had written a lot of little stories and biographical sketches in the past-I need to revise them, and put them together in a more coherent way. Some of the stories need more research to complete them-so it's going very slowly for me.  Hopefully I'll pick up the pace over the weekend!

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#7 [url]

Feb 2 12 8:21 PM

Day 2 went pretty good, I wrote over 500 words today. My story is continuing but I want more depth and history mingled in. I will work on that as I can. I mainly want to get a story down on paper and will add and edit as time allows.

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#8 [url]

Feb 3 12 3:59 AM

Day 2 went well, but I struggled with the decision of when to add things like footnotes and pictures.  Are there recommendations as to whether or not to do it while writing?  Perhaps I should just mark the place and go back and enter them later.  Also I would like to add a map at some point, but every map I look at is copyrighted.

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#9 [url]

Feb 3 12 4:42 AM

@ Karen: I believe someone had just that idea earlier on...they said they wrote in caps (I believe) INSERT XXX HERE, or something to that effect.

I am hoping that Day 3 will be better writing time for me, now that I've got the true beginning of the story started. One thing I notice is that it is much easier to write the filler parts than it is those with key facts which give cause and effect passages, i.e. the year the house burned, the year the older children migrated North, the year the new smaller house was built and how it affected who stayed at home... I had actually started writing with my old analysis, rather than the correct analysis, which totally changes the story. Still a good "story", but not the family's story. Let's hope things flow better for me now.

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#10 [url]

Feb 3 12 6:25 AM

I feel overwhelmed. I got overwhelmed on day 1 and did nothing. On day 2, I wrote 979 words and was so excited. Then I read some of the things on here! So good, so talented...I feel like quitting already! But persevere I will!

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#13 [url]

Feb 3 12 7:13 AM

I feel overwhelmed. I got overwhelmed on day 1 and did nothing. On day 2, I wrote 979 words and was so excited. Then I read some of the things on here! So good, so talented...I feel like quitting already! But persevere I will!


Don't give up!! Don't worry about the quality of your writing. My sentences and paragraphs are choppy and missing information. I know that once I get through the first draft I can go back and massage and tweak all I want. I also know that I can identify later what areas need more information and research and work on them after the first draft is done. Don't be down on yourself, you'll do great!

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#14 [url]

Feb 3 12 8:21 AM

I'm feeling successful with my story telling. I set a goal of 250 words a day and so far I have written more than that each day. I still can't believe that I wrote so much just on the first point. I decided to write a family history narrative. Right now I have to pull in my reins as I am thinking about the documents I would also like to include.

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#15 [url]

Feb 3 12 8:29 AM

My goal is 250 words a day and I am achieving that each day.  I envy those who have written more... great work!   And a motivator for me...... Some of my "slow" writing is because of the focus on historical accuracy regarding the emigration journey.....  hope fully it will flow easier as I get into the family stories!

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#16 [url]

Feb 3 12 8:43 AM

I have written each day and met my goal of 250 words per day.  Not sure I  will like the way I've laid out the telling of the family line but I've decided not to "rethink" it at this point and put thoughts down and see where it leads.  If I'm not happy in another week then pehaps I'll decide to change how it's organized.  I've started the story back in the late 1700s, a time which I don't have much personal information about the family.  It seems rather dry and boring even though I've tried to liven it up with history of the area and the economics and how that influenced choices of occupation etc. 

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#17 [url]

Feb 3 12 9:29 AM

Hi everyone, I am so happy to see you supporting each other. I am overwhelmed here at Rootstech, but I am taking lots of classes on writing and publishing family history in hopes to bring some new ideas back to you guys. I'm checking in an reading your posts. Keep supporting each other. In another day I will be yours full-time. Been also talking to some of our guest authors here at Rootstech. Looking forward to their posts as the month progresses. Keep up the great work. 

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#18 [url]

Feb 3 12 12:29 PM

I learned today (Day 2) that I can write absolutely anything my little heart desires.  I got really caught up in a "it's got to be this way" mode, while I really wanted to write it differently, but now I have realised I can write it any way I please.  If, on February 29th, I hate the whole lot, I can always edit furiously.  The difference is this:

1. From the dates in the parish registers, their first child, Mary, was christened on 13 September 1713.

(and what I wanted to write)

2. Robert Murch left the peaceful church of Ottery St Mary and walked down the steep hill with his wife, Elizabeth, and their first baby, a girl they had named Mary.  The day was Wednesday 13th September 1713, and Mary had just been christened.

church = peaceful (I've been there)
hill = steep (I've walked up it)
day = Wednesday (I've checked it in two date calculators)
names/dates = parish registers into my genealogy software

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#19 [url]

Feb 3 12 3:16 PM

I only managed to crank out 246 words of my 250-word goal today, but since I wrote more than that on days 1 and 2, I'm going to let myself slide! I think we're all realizing that the real value of this experience is that it forces us to get something down on paper. Don't look back until the 29 days are up, and then you will have something to look back on to keep, toss, edit, etc.

Joseph Ditta Author of THEN & NOW: GRAVESEND, BROOKLYN (Arcadia Publishing, 2009)

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